Growing up my sole relationship with Ginger was a fondness for ginger ale, gingerbread, or gingersnaps. Little did I know at the time that ginger was a powerful anti-aging remedy–an amazingly effective anti-inflammatory food with many health benefits and virtually no side effects.
Ginger has a long list of medicinal purposes. for example it has a traditional reputation–now clinically proven–as an anti-nausea remedy effective in treating both motion and morning sickness. Ginger greatly aids digestion of protein, thanks to an enzyme called zingibain that matches the protein-digesting power of the papaya enzyme papain commonly used as a meat tenderizer. Unlike papaya, ginger does not rate high on the glycemic index. Zingibain also dissolves the immune complexes that precipitate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Ginger is a great remedy for a sore throat, just peel a piece the size of a quarter and chew on it for 15-20 minutes.
Fresh ginger is wonderful for cooking especially in stir-frys. It can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores. Look for smooth skin with a fresh, spicy fragrance. Tubers should be firm and feel heavy.
If you notice a blue ring after slicing your fresh ginger, do not be alarmed. It is not mold or fungus. It is simply a Hawaiian variety of ginger known as blue-ring ginger or Chinese white ginger. Pat yourself on the back for your selection because this variety is considered to be superior for its juiciness and bright flavor. They are also larger rhizomes and generally cleaner. The only down-side is blue-ring ginger is usually more expensive.